27th January 2023
Lost Trawlermen’s Day, Hull’s annual Memorial Service to commemorate all trawlermen lost at sea from this city will be held at noon on Sunday 5 February 2023 at St John the Baptist Church, St George’s Rd, Hessle Rd, Hull.
Lost Trawlermen’s Day has been held every year around this time since 1989 to remember all Hull trawlermen lost at sea and is organised by STAND, Hull’s fishing heritage charity.
The once mighty deep-sea fishing industry scars a city with an estimated 6,000 men lost at sea over the last 100 years or so whether individually or complete loss of a trawler never to return. The harsh fishing grounds traditionally took life around the months of January and February which sets the annual date for Lost Trawlermen’s Day.
Around this time in 1968 the Hull trawler Ross Cleveland was lost off the Icelandic coast along with 18 men. There was just one survivor. The Ross Cleveland was the last of 3 Hull trawlers along with the St Romanus and Kingston Peridot, all lost within a month and became known as the ‘Triple Trawler Tragedy’. 58 men perished in total.
The service is held at St John’s Church, regarded by many as The Fisherman’s Church in the heart of the former Hessle Rd fishing community. The Service is introduced by Rev Tony Cotson who leads the opening prayer which will be followed by a welcome from Vic Wheeldon, Vice Chair of STAND who will give an update on plans to create a lasting Memorial to Hull’s lost trawlermen planned at St Andrews Quay.
‘I the Lord of the Sea and Sky’ is then sung by the choir from Eastfield Primary School in Hull followed by a reading by Sally Taylor of the Fishermen’s Mission (The Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen). There’s a further address by Rev Cotson and then the choir will fittingly sing ‘Sailing’ followed by a further moment of reflection and prayers from Anne McLaren of Stella Maris (formally known as Apostleship of the Sea) which still supports seafarers in need around the world. The poignant piece - ‘Anchor for the Soul’ will then be played by the City of Hull Brass Band which leads to one of the most moving parts of the Service – the sound of a ship’s bell and the start of a moments silence. This is when our city comes together to reflect, to remember, to honour those brave men so they are never forgotten. Standard flags are lowered then raised by T S Iron Duke of the Hull Sea Cadets with the dedication and blessing of the wreaths by Rev Tim Linkens of the Mission to Seafarers. The service concludes with the hymn ‘Eternal Father’, the fisherman’s hymn and a closing blessing from Rev Cotson.
Vic Wheeldon, STAND, said: "Over the last 100 or so years, the cruel sea has taken many a Hull son, so the annual Lost Trawlermen’s Day is when the city comes together to remember their loss in our hearts. These brave men will never be forgotten."’
STAND was formed in 1989 to secure a final reminder to Hull’s fishing heritage and is creating a memorial garden, with a sculpture depicting the crew of a trawler, at St Andrews Quay, Hull. In 1991 STAND worked in partnership with Hull City Council to secure the Arctic Corsair, Hull’s last sidewinder trawler which is currently being restored as part of the £30m Hull Maritime Yorkshire Project due to re-open in 2024 at a new berth at North End Shipyard in Hull’s Old Town.